Seramin captures NCGA crown on 36th hole

Matt Seramin erased a five-hole deficit to win the Northern California Golf Association Amateur Match Play Championship.

Aug. 15, 2014

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - On the pivotal 36th hole at the par-72 Spyglass Hill Golf Course, UC Davis senior Matt Seramin drained a 13-foot putt to defeat Sacramento State rival, and No. 1 seed, Aaron Beverly Friday afternoon to win the 111th Northern California Golf Association Amateur Match Play Championship.

"We are so proud and happy for Matt. To see his hard work pay off with such a historic victory is just amazing," said UC Davis head men's golf coach Cy Williams.

"He became the first Aggie golfer to win this prestigious event while still in college - that is quite a feat." 

The last time the finals came down to the 36th hole was in 2009, when George Gandranata defeated Casey Boyns 1-up. 

All square entering the final hole, Seramin was the first to face a challenging situation when his drive rolled into the rough along the right-hand side of the fairway. Even though he responded with a brilliant second shot that landed 13 feel past the flagstick, Seramin faced another pressure-packed situation once he arrived to the green.

As was the case with his opponent, Seramin was putting for birdie; however, his attempt was more than twice as long as Beverly, who was able to land his second shot within six feet of the stick.

"It was a downhill slider from right to left," explained Seramin regarding his final putt of the tournament. "I just tapped it, played the break and let it slide in." 

With Seramin watching from a distance after connecting on his putt, Beverly was now forced to hole out to stave elimination. A remarkable come-from-behind, championship-clinching effort became official once Beverly's ball crawled past the hole. 

Seramin trailed Beverly by five after 17 holes. 

Able to trim his deficit by one at the midway point, Seramin climbed his way back into contention after recording a birdie on hole No. 20. After each player recorded matching pars on the following hole, Seramin drove to the green on a 369-yard par four, a swing that allowed him to record an eagle moments later. 

Within a five-hole timespan, Seramin chopped his deficit by more than half with 14 holes remaining.

"I was five down with more than 18 holes to play. I figured that if I played solid golf, and did not make many mistakes, I would have a chance," said Seramin.

A birdie on No. 31 marked the first time all day that the San Geronimo, California, native held the lead - a brief advantage that disappeared after Beverly rebounded to capture the following hole.

After each golfer posted matching scores on the subsequent three holes, Seramin regained the lead when it counted the most -- eliminating all need for extra holes (for the second straight day) to capture the NGCA title in dramatic fashion. 

Seramin earned a berth in the championship round after downing Matt Cohn, also in come-from-behind fashion, on the 19th hole in Thursday afternoon's semifinal matchup.

Seeded No. 26 after the 36 holes of stroke play, Seramin advanced to Thursday's semifinal by beating Michael Tolladay 1-up and Ricky Owaki 1-up on Wednesday. He then rolled past Robby Salomon 4 and 2 on Thursday morning in the quarterfinals.